“In this world you will have trouble.” John 16:33 (NIV) Where do people get the idea that if you follow Jesus you can expect a life that is free from failure, disappointment, and loss? This is exactly the opposite of what Jesus says. Jesus confronts His disciples with the realities...
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15
God became man in Christ Jesus, and he experienced life as it is in this fallen and troubled world. Think about what Jesus experienced.
Christ knows what it is to grow up without a strong male presence. His father, Joseph, likely died when he was young. Jesus grew up in poverty, and when he died, all he owned were the clothes on his back. If your background is similar, Jesus knows what it is like.
Christ knows what it is to be tempted. In fact, he knows more about it than any of us ever will. Satan threw everything he had at Jesus. None of us has experienced that. We break early. Jesus never broke. He was without sin, but he felt the full force and fury of temptation, so when you experience powerful temptations, Jesus knows what it is like.
Christ knows what it is to be exhausted. Jesus got up early in the morning because it was the only time he could be alone, and in the evening he was exhausted and fell asleep in a boat. If your schedule is relentless and you feel exhausted, Jesus knows what that is like.
Christ knows what it is to be surrounded by great darkness. He knows what it is like to feel that God is far away, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” If your God seems far away, Jesus is able to say to you, “I’ve been there. I know what it’s like, and I will stand in this with you.” And you can say to him, “I know that you know.”
Are you facing trouble? Scan through one of the Gospels and ask yourself, “Where did Jesus face something like this?” You will find that it will help you.